Monday, July 9, 2012

No means No. Yes, I'm sure.


I’m feeling extremely ill today. Not up for a real post. Here’s a weekend story with some BPD relationship insight at the end.

Dear Men,

No. It means No. 100% of the time. “I have a boyfriend, I’m not interested,” does not translate to, “Please, follow me around and continue to hit on me.”

Sincerely,
Haven

Saturday night I went out with xRoommate and her boyfriend to see a band we like at a semi-local bar. xRoommates boyfriend knows the band. Super chill, fun guys. At one point during the first set I went to the bar to get another glass of wine.

Imagine if you will, some overgrown muscle bound choch with a neck the size of a tree trunk and biceps bigger than my head.

Choch: {Says something utterly incomprehensible to me}

Me: {points to ears} I’m wearing earplugs I can’t hear you.

Choch: {Continues to speak in a manner that I can’t decipher}

Me: Seriously, I can’t understand you.

Choch: {Throws his arm around my shoulder and pulls me close to him. Blows in my ear}

Me: What the fuck? Dude, I don’t think my boyfriend would appreciate that.

Choch: {Gestures for me to turn my head to say something to me. I do. Blows in my other ear.}

Me: What are you doing? I’m not available. {Bartender notices something is up. Gets me my drink which I didn’t even have to ask for.} I’m going back to my friends.

Bar scene mess took 5-10 minutes. 



After disengaging with this dude I walk back to our table and have a seat. A minute or so later he follows and tries to pull me out on the dance floor to which I reply by emphatically shaking my head no, waving my hands to nix the idea, and saying, Sorry, no, I have a boyfriend, I’m not interested.

At which point xRoommates boyfriend intervenes with something along the lines of: What’s going on buddy? She just wants to watch the band. Finally the meathead leaves.

After about half an hour the band takes a break and we go out on the back patio. Roommate and I were discussing the bar incident. She wasn’t sure if I needed help because I didn’t turn around and give the WTF face of “I need exit assistance here”. Honestly it didn’t even occur to me to ask for help. We’re in a crowded bar, the worst he could do at that point was be annoying and get spit in my ear. She said if I ever need help it would be really hard for a guy to argue with hysterical emergency friend, haha. We were just starting to laugh about it when meat-for-brains walks outside. xRoommate saw him first, stepped in close and put her arm around me like we were together. Not to be deterred meathead starts to get in her boyfriend’s face. Apparently he felt like he was being cock blocked and getting ultra-confrontational would totally get me to change my mind.

The look on this dude’s face was honestly pretty scary. He was really fucking pissed. Her boyfriend handled it well though, told him he wasn’t interested in fighting and to just drop it. This seemed to confuse Caveman guy who pounded his chest a bit more. Then the bouncer came over, pulled the guy away, and ejected him.

I had serious mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand it was awesome to see that xRoommates boyfriend was willing to watch out for me like that. Him and the bassist from the band took a stand in between me and meathead guy. On the other hand I felt like I should have stepped in and taken care of it myself. I was straight forward with this guy without resorting to bitch-mode. I can kinda-sorta understand not taking a hint if someone isn’t being clear, but I wasn’t hinting. He was ignoring a direct rejection, albeit a relatively polite one. Maybe that’s my problem; not enough bitch mode. It didn’t seem like the best course of action though. Maintaining a sweet demeanor seemed more productive. If I’d responded with confrontation maybe we both would have gotten kicked out, which would suck because the band still had an hour left to play.

I’d call this good control on my part. There was a time in the not so distant past, when I would have exploded on that guy.  I wouldn’t even try keeping my cool. I certainly wouldn’t let anyone else intervene for me.

It’s odd. I had no fear of the situation though maybe I should have. I didn’t really have much anger either.  Mostly I was just uncomfortable. This seems like it's not normal. 

I have a profound respect for bouncers. When I was working at the strip club the bouncers were our black shirted heroes. They kept us safe, and believe me, there were times when we needed it. Maybe I’m just used to douchebag guys trying to be handsy and have lost my ability to be phased by it. Completely desensitized to the feeling that he could be a real threat. When this whole thing started happening at the bar though, I was totally worried about the wrong things. My mindset was to tolerate the asshattery because my focus was to get my drink. I was worried about flagging down the bartender not worried about this guy potentially trying something uncivilized. I had a cognitive handle on the situation but I had no emotional response whatsoever. It didn’t even occur to me to turn around and make eye contact with xRoommate for help because it didn’t occur to me that I needed help. I’m so used to dealing with things myself and taking care of myself, it’s a foreign concept for me to ask anyone else for assistance, even when I probably should.

After the bouncer tossed him, I thanked xRoommates boyfriend and said I should have stepped in. He responded with, “No way, I love you.  You’re family. Family has each other’s back.” Wow. Just wow. I was totally taken aback by that. I know he thinks highly of me and our friendship means a lot to him, but it really does help to hear things like that. My heart feels better and it’s like the connection between me, xRoommate, and him is reinforced just a little bit more. I hate asking for validation. I hate asking if people miss me or if they’re thinking about me or if we’re really good friends or whatever. Hearing that kind of validation without having to ask for it, is really important and definitely makes me feel more connected to our relationships.  This is true for any relationship I’m in.

If I have to ask for validation, to me, it feels like it’s said out of obligation and I can’t really trust that the sentiment is sincere because it wasn’t spontaneous. But when it’s offered without prompting it feels genuine and believable. I know it’s kind of a distorted perception to distrust the former, but it’s how I feel, not what I know. It’s very important for us to learn to communicate our needs better. It’s also important for our partners, friends, and family to communicate how they feel as well. I think this is natural for any human in a relationship, but maybe doubly so for those of us with BPD.

So what could have been a sticky situation, turned out to be kind of a cool bonding moment. What I don’t get is why some guys can’t take no for an answer. Any thoughts?
  
Faux moral of the story: Tech Boy shouldn’t let me go anywhere alone. I get hit on the minute he’s not around. 

3 comments:

  1. It always seems to be the alpha male mentality that a girl is just property and it's only a matter of time before he can take her. A boyfriend, a husband, blah blah blah, all irrelevant to this equation.

    My wife still gets hit on even when I'm WITH her. These d-bags just don't care. We both just laugh it off, but it's still annoying if they get aggressive about it.

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  2. SOUNDS LIKE ANY DRUNK SELF CENTERED MAN I'VE EVER KNOWN....

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  3. I myself in your position would have thought the same way. I am there for a drink and I have this ape bothering me. I would have totally ignored him as politely as I could. If need be I would defend myself. However, being out with my male friend who has BPD becomes very possessive in these situations. The He-Man/Hulk in him would have come out for sure and it takes days later for him to calm down. He would see red and no matter what I say to him at that point, there is no calming him down. I wish I knew the trick or the right words to say before hand so he doesn't blow. Or even what to say to calm him down after. Sometimes I'm the one who gets blamed for just standing next the guy. It doesn't make it a fun night. I love him dearly though.

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